West Africa is the Latest Testing Ground for US Military Artificial Intelligence

west-africa-is-the-latest-testing-ground-for-us-military-artificial-intelligence

06-05-21 02:02:00,

NIAMI, NIGER (Africa is a Country) — One striking feature of US military involvement in West Africa is the absence of an observable strategic vision for a desired end state. Nominally, US presence in the region’s multilayered conflicts revolves around building “security cooperation” with state partners to improve counterterrorism capabilities, ostensibly providing protection to communities that states cannot. Concurrently, the US military is typically the prime diplomatic entity for high-level bilateral engagements. The result is that the US military is propping up the public authority of weak states, albeit in an ad hoc fashion that lurches from crisis to crisis.Regardless of the reasons for US presence, there is hardly any deep public support for these operations; about 60% of US citizens do not view these kinds of conflicts as a security threat, and more than 90% oppose US invasions, even if weapons of mass destruction were in use. “For the first time in recent memory,” US international relations scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt write, “large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy.” Even within the Department of Defense, these doubts continue to periodically arise. As former Defense Secretary Mark Esper testified in February 2020 to the House Armed Services Committee, conventional forces in Niger, Chad, and Mali “[need] to go back to home so they can prepare for great power competition.”Due to war fatigue, the US has resorted to “externalizing the strategic and operational burden of war to human and technological surrogates,” creating what some scholars call a form of “surrogate warfare.” One example of “externalizing the burden of war to the machine” is a tool created by the Defense Innovation Unit and deployed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in 2017. Throughout its deployment, this tool monitored and rapidly combined social media feeds in Syria before relaying that information to pilots and ground troops, who then used it to identify, track, and strike targets in that area of operations. General Joseph Votel, then-commander of US Central Command, boasted of the model’s success and indicated that it would be replicated “in future operations.”

Combined Air Operations CenterCombined Air Operations Center

The Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base,

 » Lees verder

%d bloggers liken dit: